In the second episode of Profiles in Franceformation, I interview Morgan Walesh, an American who came to France from Wisconsin and has been living in the 5th arrondissement of Paris for 7 years. Originally a nursing graduate, she came to teach English with TAPIF (the Teaching Assistant Program in France), and switched her visa when her daughter, Jayce, was born a few years later. Unable to work as a nurse in France, she instead works as a “local recruit” for TAPIF and spends her spare time unearthing amazing historical stories about Paris, which she shares on her Facebook page, Paris, History of Our Streets.

We talk about:

  • The challenges of raising a French/English bilingual and bicultural child, and how we each navigate the language learning process with our kids.
  • The super French thing Morgane’s daughter says when she wants something.
  • How Morgane decided to move to France, and what she did when she discovered, upon moving here, that she definitely did NOT have an intermediate level of French!
  • The embarrassing language mistakes we make when we learn French words out of context and use inappropriate language for the people we’re speaking with.
  • Morgane’s dream of studying French history, and the favorite Paris history stories she’s learned since starting her Facebook page.
  • How diving deep into the history of her neighborhood and of Paris has enabled Morgane to love Paris again after losing the stars in her eyes, and how it has helped her to make connections with French people.
  • Morgane’s Sancerre Baptism, in which she vowed to forsake all other wines besides Sancerre in a unique ceremony at a vinyard.
  • Morgane’s favorite places to visit in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, and beyond.
  • Living with a social safety net, and how Morgane appreciates not living on credit, and not being one medical disaster away from financial doom.
  • The challenges of constantly adapting your language to the person you’re talking to, and how it can be tricky for English speakers to understand the different styles of speech in French.
  • How coming from a small town in Wisconsin to the big city in Europe opened her mind, gave her the opportunity to learn a second language, and gave her the gift of experiencing another culture.
  • How my original website, Paris Unraveled {now Your Franceformation} helped Morgane to navigate the French bureaucracy when she first arrived in Paris.
  • The French gifts that her American friends and family back home just can’t appreciate properly.

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